Materials Science News

New “Tandem” Solar Cell to Harnesses More Sunlight

March 24, 2015

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New Tandem Solar Cell Harnesses More Sunlight

By combining two types of photovoltaic material, researchers from MIT and Stanford have developed a new “tandem” solar cell that harnesses more sunlight. Researchers at MIT and Stanford University have developed a new kind of solar cell that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material in order to harvest a broader range of the sun’s […]

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Researchers Develop a Better Method for Making Perovskite Solar Cells

March 23, 2015

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Faster, Cooler, Thinner, Better Perovskite Solar Cells

Using perovskite, engineers from Brown University have developed a cheap, efficient alternative to silicon-based solar cells. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — Research led by a Brown University Ph.D. student has revealed a new way to make light-absorbing perovskite films for use in solar cells. The new method involves a room-temperature solvent bath to create […]

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New Technique Offers Direct Stimulation of Neurons Without External Connections

March 13, 2015

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New Technique Could Lead to Long-Lasting Localized Stimulation of Brain Tissue

Using external magnetic fields and injected magnetic nanoparticles, a new technique developed by researchers at MIT could lead to long-lasting localized stimulation of brain tissue without external connections. This video shows a calcium ion influx into neurons as a result of magnetothermal excitation with alternating magnetic fields in the presence of magnetic nanoparticles. Neurons on […]

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EPFL Sheds New Light on the Fundamental Mechanisms of Heat Dissipation in Graphene

March 6, 2015

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Researchers Shed New Light on the Fundamental Mechanisms of Heat Dissipation in Graphene

Scientists from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne shed new light on the fundamental mechanisms of heat dissipation in graphene and other two-dimensional materials. In the race to miniaturize electronic components, researchers are challenged with a major problem: the smaller or the faster your device, the more challenging it is to cool it down. One solution […]

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3D Graphene Aerogel Catalyst Shows Promise for Fuel Cells

March 2, 2015

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3D Aerogel Shows Promise for Fuel Cells

New research from Rice University shows that graphene nanoribbons formed into a three-dimensional aerogel and enhanced with boron and nitrogen are excellent catalysts for fuel cells. A team led by materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan and chemist James Tour made metal-free aerogels from graphene nanoribbons and various levels of boron and nitrogen to test their electrochemical […]

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New Technique Could Enable Low-Cost Silicon Devices in Fibers

February 24, 2015

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New Approach Could Enable Low-Cost Silicon Devices in Fibers

In a newly published study, researchers from MIT detail a new inexpensive approach to generating silicon-core fibers. Scientists have known how to draw thin fibers from bulk materials for decades. But a new approach to that old method, developed by researchers at MIT, could lead to a whole new way of making high-quality fiber-based electronic […]

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Orbital Engineering, Yale Engineers Change Electron Trajectories

February 10, 2015

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Engineers Change Electron Trajectories

In a newly published study, engineers demonstrate a novel approach to substantially modify orbital occupations and symmetries in electronically correlated oxides. How do you make nickel look and behave like copper? A team of scientists at Yale University has done just that by developing a novel technique to artificially alter a material’s atomic properties by […]

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Crystal Boundaries Can Enhance, or Reduce, Hydrogen Embrittlement

February 5, 2015

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Analysis Shows How to Prevent Metal Embrittlement

A newly published study from MIT details how certain crystal boundaries can enhance, or reduce, the damaging effects that lead to metal embrittlement. When a metal tube lines an oil well thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean, that metal had better be solid and reliable. Unfortunately, the environment in such deep wells […]

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Rice Engineers Design Flexible and Stackable Laser Induced Graphene Supercapacitors

January 14, 2015

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Rice Scientists Show Vertical Microsupercapacitors with Laser induced Graphene

New research from Rice University details the design and testing of three-dimensional supercapacitors made with laser-induced graphene. Rice University scientists advanced their recent development of laser-induced graphene (LIG) by producing and testing stacked, three-dimensional supercapacitors, energy-storage devices that are important for portable, flexible electronics. The Rice lab of chemist James Tour discovered last year that […]

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New Insights Into Why Some Crystals Jump, While Others Crumble

January 13, 2015

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Why Some Crystals Jump and Others Crumble

A team of researchers has discovered the force that makes the organometallic compound palladium hexafluoroacetylacetonate jump. This thermosalient effect could potentially be applied in artificial muscles and actuators. Crystals are not as stationary as you might think. A crystal of an organometallic compound containing palladium, for example, downright jumps from a hotplate once it reaches […]

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Fine-Tuning the Chemistry of Materials

January 9, 2015

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Controlling Chemical Binding Properties Improves Structurally Complex Materials like Concrete

Using sophisticated calculations that show how atomic-level forces affect the mechanical properties of a complex particle-based material, researchers from Rice University reveal new ways to improve the chemistry of materials like concrete to make it less prone to cracking and more suitable for specific applications. Even when building big, every atom matters, according to new […]

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New Drug Delivery Technique Uses Graphene to Deliver Anticancer Drugs

January 6, 2015

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Flying Carpet Technique Uses Graphene to Deliver Anticancer Drugs

Using graphene strips to deliver anticancer drugs sequentially to cancer cells, researchers are able to target the distinct part of the cell where the drug will be most effective. An international team of researchers has developed a drug delivery technique that utilizes graphene strips as “flying carpets” to deliver two anticancer drugs sequentially to cancer […]

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New Non-Invasive MRI Technology Detects Alzheimer’s Disease Early

December 23, 2014

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New Non-Invasive Method Can Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Early

A newly published study details how a new MRI probe that pairs a magnetic nanostructure with an antibody can detect Alzheimer’s disease early. Evanston, Illinois — No methods currently exist for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, which affects one out of nine people over the age of 65. Now, an interdisciplinary team of Northwestern […]

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A New Understanding of How to Trap Light

December 22, 2014

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New Understanding of How to Halt Photons

A newly published study from MIT reveals the mechanism responsible for trapping the light, showing that this trapped state is much more stable than had been thought. Researchers at MIT who succeeded last year in creating a material that could trap light and stop it in its tracks have now developed a more fundamental understanding […]

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New Breakthrough May Lead to Instant-Start Computers

December 19, 2014

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Instant Start Computers Made Possible

Using a room-temperature magnetoelectric memory device, engineers at Cornell University have made a breakthrough that may lead to instant-start computers. Ithaca, New York – To encode data, today’s computer memory technology uses electric currents – a major limiting factor for reliability and shrinkability, and the source of significant power consumption. If data could instead be […]

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Engineers Show Tiny Liquid Drops Can Make Solids Stiffer

December 16, 2014

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Engineers Stiffen Solids with Liquid Inclusions

Engineers from Yale University have strengthened solid materials by using very small embedded liquid droplets. Engineers at Yale University have discovered that the stiffness of liquid drops embedded in solids has something in common with Goldilocks: While large drops of liquids are softer than the solid that surrounds them, extremely tiny drops of liquid can […]

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Valleytronics Help Researchers Move Toward a New Kind of 2D Microchip

December 15, 2014

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A New Kind of 2D Microchip

Using an approach called valleytronics, a team of researchers has cleared hurdles toward a new kind of 2D microchip that uses different electron properties. New findings from a team at MIT and other institutions could provide a pathway toward a kind of two-dimensional microchip that would make use of a characteristic of electrons other than […]

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